Hitting a low

Life, it’s been beating me down lately. Between parenting (which I’m pretty sure I suck at right now), coaching (middle school kids), working (super shitty night shifts), and trying (but mostly failing) to maintain some semblance of a half marathon training schedule I’m burnt right the fuck out. Like a tough, over cooked steak I’m beyond done. I’ve been feeling it for a while but Sunday was when it really hit me.

The day started early because I had to take my sixteen year old to my sister’s so he could babysit her kids while she was at Equestrian Team regionals with my daughter (but mostly the other high school team she coaches). Even though I hadn’t been to the meet once yet over the weekend I went back home instead of heading up there. I wanted to go back to bed but I knew this was the only time available to clean up and do the dishes from Saturday’s big breakfast that were still strewn about the kitchen and dining room. Later that day I was extremely thankful I did.

A couple hours later I was finally on my way to watch my daughter show in her last few classes of the regional meet she had worked so hard to get to. I left three other kids and two friends playing video games and eating cereal. As I was leaving the shit storm was brewing. My younger sister had posted on our family’s Facebook group page asking for opinions about set up for her upcoming wedding. I responded, as did other people, saying the area in question would make a good kids’ activity space. She then asked if I wanted to coordinate this. To which I responded that I could not as I’m way too busy this week. It’s the third time she’s called me out specifically asking me to do something in the few days leading up to the wedding and (at least) the third time I’ve told her I cannot. Not that I don’t want to, I literally cannot. I had however, already told her I’d be more than happy to help clean up after the wedding. I just can’t do anything before. Why? Well, reread the second sentence of the post, I’m busy and already stretched thin. Apparently that’s irrelevant. I got shit for stating (again) that I’m not able to help before the wedding. Which, by the way, is on a fucking Thursday afternoon.

Later in the day, after being at the equestrian team meet for most the day, getting pestered via text by my almost thirteen year old about letting his friend go to his football game with him (which was a solid no as said friend would be unsupervised and needed to go home), stopping at the grocery store for dinner essentials and cat and dog food (which we were completely out of), I headed back over to my sister’s to pick up my daughter and the son who had been babysitting all freakin day. At this point it was close to seven in the evening. I still needed to make dinner and get everyone on track for school Monday. Plus I really needed to sleep a little before my shift at work started (10:30pm).

After handing my sister (not the one who is getting married, the one who was at the meet with my daughter) a twenty dollar bill in an apparently inadequate attempt to contribute to the cost of hauling the horse she informs me that it cost her at least $50 a week. Oh and that I don’t do enough for my daughter’s showing and she’s tired of helping her so much. I told her I’m doing the best I can. The bottom line, that’s not good enough.

That seems to be the message of the week. And it’s only Wednesday evening.

Even later Sunday evening I was finally getting the pre-work nap I needed. A whole hour and a half to sleep, some of it with my eight year old sitting next to me with a flashlight and a book. I didn’t have time to read him a bedtime story; this was the compromise. Thankfully he got tired too and decided to close his eyes after fifteen or so minutes.

An hour and twenty minutes into my nap (barely half an hour before I needed to leave for work) excessive dog barking woke me up followed by a knock on my bedroom door. “Mom, someone from CPS is at the door. They need to talk to you.”

And that was just the beginning of the week. It’s nearing the end of Wednesday. I think I’ve almost made it through but I can’t remember where one week ends and the next begins. When you work the whole weekend it’s not really something to look forward to. In fact I’m not sure what I should be looking forward to right now. Yes, my sister is getting married next week and that’s a celebration. My whole crazy family will be in one place, something that rarely happens anymore. And it’s going to be great. And, yeah, the half marathon I’ve been prepping for is ten days away. I’m excited about it.

But the celebration and excitement seem hypothetical and far away. Vague. Like oncoming headlights in a thick fog. Today, this week, I’m feeling (but trying not to wallow in) the low. I don’t remember another time in my recent personal history where things felt this downright bad. But I know, somewhere deep in my core, that that’s only because time dulls these pains and it has been much much worse. That somehow I’ve always made it through to the other side; this is a low, but it’s far from the lowest of the lows.

Some Days

star wars glasses

Some days I’m on top of the world; I’m a mother fucking badass. Others nothing works, I’m failing at everything and I just can’t win.
It’s been over six months and I haven’t broken a single Star Wars glass. So there’s that.  But the pictures are peeling off half of them. Guess sometimes you get what you pay for, maybe less.
My first teenager is a genius, near perfect scores on every standardized test he takes. The jerkface can’t seem to pass his high school classes though. How do you make a sixteen year old see that homework is more important than friends even when his mom isn’t there to remind him? There’s only so much a mom can do, at some point he’s got to start caring. Colleges sure won’t if he fails classes junior year. Even with perfect scores he won’t get a second look let alone a scholarship. Lord knows I can’t pay his way, I’m still fighting to pay my own. This weighs heavily on me, some days more than others.
For two weeks my little guy went to school without a fuss every single day. It was a welcome change, one motivated by a sticker chart with the promise of a trip to the arcade attached. No emails from the teachers saying he’s having a bad day, started crying and they don’t know why, or that he won’t sit at circle time and do what first graders are supposed to do for two (almost) whole weeks. But that one day a kid accidentally knocked him down and he got up and kicked the kid. In the “privates”. Hard. They’re friends again now but who knows if that poor boy will be able to reproduce. Some days!

You take the good with the bad, that’s just life. “Up down, up down, Life’s like a jump rope.” Maybe if the bad wasn’t there you wouldn’t recognize the good. Everything would just be Meh. Contrast gives value. If you’ve never been poor you might not have an appreciation for your relative wealth. Stuff like that. But some days I just want a mother fucking break, to feel like I have good luck and timing instead of the perpetual bad that seems to follow me like a shadow. Some days I want to be able to say it went my way instead of telling about that one time it was so close I could almost taste it. I want someone to care about making my  life a little easier. Just once, maybe twice. That would be a nice change.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the bad guy, that I’m doing the right thing but some days I want to throw in the towel, waive the white flag, and call it a day.

Some days that’s how it goes.

A Bad Day in Divorceland…

…is there really any other kind? I’m not so sure.

This week I planned to write some upbeat, crafty posts. I’ve got ideas for a couple, maybe even a few, of those rattling around in my pretty little head.

And then today happened.
I’ve been waiting all week on some results that would determine parenting time. It’s been a long road and things have not gone as I’d hoped they would.
My faith in the system has been greatly diminished. Today was a shining example of that and, frankly, it sucked!
Suffice it to say I didn’t know my eye lids could get that puffy (if I was any good with a camera I would’ve tried to capture it; it was that impressive) and my scarf absorbed so much snot that it deserves a name change (and a good wash…mental note: add wash scarf to the To-Do list).
But I’m not going to go into detail about all that. Instead I’m going to tell you about the least of the bad on this long day of bads, one with a relatively happy ending.
It’s 3:15am. I just got done with a long week of work and stress, lots and lots of stress. I have slept two of the past thirty-two or so hours and eaten…not much.
I’m hungry. I want, no, I need… no, I deserve McDonald’s.
A small french fries and a delicious, saucy Big Mac are calling to me. Sorry all you January Dieters and health food junkies but it’s a proven fact that greasy fat molecules dissolve into little bits of happiness on your tongue.
I learned that in community college Biology class and I need whatever bits of happiness I can get today.
Yes, a Big Mac would make the world an ever-so-slightly better place right now. Luckily the McDonald’s near my job is open 24 hours.
I start to roll down my window as I pull up to the drive-thru speaker. The window sticks just a couple inches from the top. I’m momentarily concerned that my window might get stuck part way down. At 1 degree these things can happen.
Right now it’s worth the risk. I toggle the switch a bit and the window goes the rest of the way down. I’m primed to place my order when the tired female voice informs me that it’s cash only tonight, no debit or credit cards.
My hopes and McDreams are momentarily dashed until I remember there’s another McDonald’s on the way home. I head there, order, and hand the kid my debit card.
As the window shuts between us I see him swipe my card, wait a moment, shake his head, then try again.
After a repeat of this performance he opens the window and informs me their credit card machine isn’t working.
He asks apologetically if I happen to have cash.
“Um, I have two dollars” I tell him.
He shrugs and tells me that’ll work.
I sigh in relief “Oh good because I might cry if you don’t give me my food.”
At this point I’m pretty sure I look like I could be part of the zombie apocalypse ….on the zombie side.
He gives me a wary look that says “You are clearly crazy and I hope you don’t have a gun or anything in there.”
I pull forward and receive my bag of greasy goodness.
As I enjoy my little bit of self destructive happiness it’s all I can do to just be glad this bad day in Divorceland is at it’s end.